Forever loved: Mary

Forever loved: Mary

When I was asked, as a little girl, what I wanted to do when I grew up, I’m certain I never chirped, “I want to write cat obituaries!”

I still don’t.

But love bids me otherwise, and here we are again, too soon for another Forever Loved.

As I write today, the only thing bigger than my sorrow is my gratitude.

Our Mary has left this earth.

I started, deleted, and re-started this post many times, finally realizing that no words could do justice to the miracle that was Mary.

If ever you doubted that there is true tenderness to be found; if ever you questioned the existence of a genuinely good heart; if ever you shivered from the cold in a world that can be cruel…

…Mary was living, loving, exuberant proof that your deepest hopes are not in vain.

To eyes far different from yours and mine, Mary was just a little grey puff of a cat, incontinent at that. But to our eyes and our hearts, tender and foolish though they may be (in the manner of saints and angels and children), Mary was a constant reminder that love is the greatest force in the universe.

So many of the things I could write about our girl would be understatements. She was one of the kindest beings (feline or otherwise) who ever lived. She made it her purpose in life to nurture others (feline or otherwise). Mary’s life grew and grew the more she gave herself away, which she did with gusto, lavishing love on everyone she met, every day of her life.

I have had the honor of cherishing over 3,000 cats in my 13+ years at Tabby’s Place. I have never met a single cat more kind, more deep-down good, more pure in heart, than Mary.

We will work to be an example of how we as brothers and sisters on this earth should treat each other.

More than a few of us nicknamed her “Mother Mary” for her unfailing maternal ways. From rowdy Angelo to cowardly Chewbacca, Mary made it her mission in life to swaddle everyone she met with love.

Especially us.

Even as our hearts are quaking and breaking, I know Mary has not left us — not really, not in the ways that matter most. I believe that, just beyond the veil, she thrives on, more fully alive than we can imagine.

But Mary also lives on in us, if we’ll let her.

Hers was a heart so golden that to bask in its glow couldn’t help but make you a warmer creature yourself — one capable of warming the world around you. If we have truly known Mary, we’re now called to carry her flame to everyone we meet.

May we love without calculation.

May we nurture without negotiation.

May we all be at least a whisker more like the mighty miracle of a little grey mop who blessed our lives beyond expression.

Kittens, I can never thank you enough for seeing Mary for who she truly was, and cherishing her accordingly. Her life at Tabby’s Place was one long song of gratitude and jubilation.

May our own gratitude someday drown out our sorrow.

Until we meet again, beloved girl.

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